Cuddly open fire even without chimney connection
Especially in the winter months, one or the other longs for a cozy fire pit. However, if there is no chimney connection, the whole thing turns out to be a rather difficult undertaking. For some years, there are ethanol fireplaces that can be operated without a chimney and come very close to a real wood-burning fireplace. Even the annoying firewood chopping and storing thus eliminated. Another big advantage is that these fireplaces in private homes do not need permission. When used in public areas, however, attention must be paid to the fire protection conditions. In addition, the fireplace should only be filled and lit by people who have previously familiarized themselves with the safety regulations. The decorative fireplaces are available in different versions:
- Free-standing units, which can be placed anywhere in the room. These are encased in fireproof glass or have an open flame.
- Wall-mounted appliances whose size and design are modeled on a real wood-burning chimney, or very modern, metal fireplaces that can be hung on the wall.
- Tabletop units that are slightly smaller and, similar to an oil lamp, decorating the dining and living room table.
What to look for when buying
Since the veritable "Run & ldquo; on ethanol fireplaces in all variants, the tests were tightened and published a standard (DIN 4734-1). This applies to & quot; decorative fireplaces and liquid fuels & quot ;. Since then independent institutes have been able to issue test certificates, but these are not compulsory. In addition, the standard applies only to fireplaces whose burning power burn over half a liter of ethanol per hour, or for appliances that can hold more than three liters of fuel. These must, according to the standard, prove a separate approval letter in which important warnings are noted. These measures should contribute to safety and guarantee proper handling of the burner. For example, it should be noted that ethanol fireplaces are not suitable as heaters and may only be used in well-ventilated areas.
When purchasing, it is essential to ensure that the selected device has such a standard. Also pay attention to the processing and quality features of the fireplace. Especially with cheap offers, caution is required. It is recommended to have the stove presented by the seller and to study the safety instructions in advance. Particular attention should also be paid to the design of the firing trough. The flame should be visible at all times. There are fireplaces in which a cotton wool in the ethanol container continues to burn, even if the flame is no longer visible externally. These chimneys are strictly discouraged as they present a high safety risk.
Gel or Liquid Alcohol?
There are differences in the fuels used. The tubs or burners can be filled with either a thick fuel paste or liquid bioalcohol. Brenngel is nothing more than the normal ethanol, which has been added with additives that provide for the viscosity. For increased safety, it is recommended that the gel-like paste, which can be bought already filled in fuel cans. This does not splash, can not run while filling and later trigger no deflagration when lighting the fireplace. In addition, the fuel paste ideally remains in its container if it should be accidentally knocked over. However, bioethanol is nevertheless to be treated with caution. The fuel together with the air at temperatures above 21 degrees Celsius, a highly flammable mixture and can even trigger explosions. Ethanol is not used without reason as a fire accelerator. And even though it is 95% vegetable alcohol on average, a counterfeiting agent is added to the remaining ingredients. In addition, when burning, nitrogen is produced, which means that adequate ventilation of the environment must always be guaranteed.
Cost, Consumption and Heating Capacity
Approval-free fireplaces must not burn more than half a liter of ethanol per hour. Consequently, one liter of alcohol will last for at least 2 hours. A liter of ethanol costs an average of 2 euros, resulting in costs of about one euro per hour log fire. However, the heating capacity of ethanol chimneys is often overestimated. Although no heat escapes over the chimney, as in a conventional fireplace, but alcohol has a low energy density. Thus, on average, only a heating power of about 3 kilowatt hours can be achieved. A woodburner creates the threefold. For a comfortable hour and a decorative fire game, however, an ethanol fireplace is always suitable.
Safety is the top priority
Anyone running an ethanol fireplace should adhere to a few important rules to ensure safety. The flammability of alcohol is not to be underestimated and can be life-threatening if used incorrectly. However, if these rules are adhered to, the risks of a possible fire can be greatly reduced:
- Keep a fire extinguisher handy
- Free-standing equipment should have enough weight to be able to be safely mounted Equipment that is attached to the wall must be used be technically safe
- When filling with liquid ethanol, never spill liquid; if this should happen, wipe everything away and dispose of cloths directly.
- The fuel tank should not contain more than three liters of fuel since the flame can not be safely monitored otherwise.
- The adequate ventilation of the room in which the
If you are aware of all these things, are sufficiently informed about the purchase and strictly follow the safety regulations, you will also have fun with an ethanol fireplace and spend relaxing hours in front of a cozy log fire.
Image: © Elena Elisseeva / Shutterstock